Spurs fans could have been forgiven for writing Erik Lamela off as a big money flop at the end of last season. The Argentine arrived with a huge reputation during the now shudder-inducing summer of 2013 at White Hart Lane, and much was expected of the young man once compared to Lionel Messi given that Tottenham paid a club record £30m for his signature.
However, his debut campaign was a train wreck as he struggled with injuries and homesickness, before 2014/15 offered very little in the way of encouragement – aside from that Rabona goal in Europa League action.
Links with a summer exit followed, but despite particularly strong reports of a switch to Marseille, Lamela has stayed put, and Who Scored’s findings suggest that, whether a fortunate set of events or an inspired decision from the club, keeping him has been a great move.
So far this term Lamela has played his way into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans, and it’s got to the point that he’s become ‘un-droppable’. The change in his output has been staggering, with the attacking midfielder currently averaging his highest shots, key passes, accurate crosses and tackles-per-game returns during his north London spell, while he’s already matched his best goal output in, two, and is close to being half way to levelling his finest assist return, seven, despite having played a third of the games it took him to reach that tally.
Finally justifying that price-tag? Perhaps…